Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. Neil Gaiman The Guardian, Feb 2010
Archive | June, 2010
This is a wonderfully lucid book. I would not hesitate to take writing advice from Dorothea Brande, for the simple reason that her own writing is so elegant and clear. As I was reading, I was reminded of George Orwell’s dictum that good writing should be like a window pane. Brande’s book, written in 1934, [...]
Writing fiction is not “self-expression” or “therapy”. Novels are for readers, and writing them means the crafty, patient, selfless construction of effects. I think of my novels as being something like fairground rides: my job is to strap the reader into their car at the start of chapter one, then trundle and whizz them through [...]
I quite liked this book. I think that, perhaps, if I had come upon it by chance in a neglected corner of a bookshop and read it without any preconceptions, I would have really liked it. But I did have preconceptions. A couple of years ago this was a hot book, recommended in all the [...]
A short book of four short stories. I liked the main one, Bon Voyage Mr President. It’s quite a straightforward story, with none of the magical realism for which Marquez is known. The dying ex-president of a Caribbean nation is in Geneva, seeing doctors about a mysterious ailment. A man from his home nation recognises [...]
Honour the miraculousness of the ordinary. Andrew Motion The Guardian, Feb 2010
The Society of Young Publishers hit on an interesting idea in a recent issue of its magazine inPrint. They dug up an old article from 1998, in which Waterstones Managing Director Alan Giles was giving his thoughts about the future of the bookselling industry. For those of you who don’t know, Waterstones is the major [...]
I am not much of a gardener. I like the idea of gardening, but the reality of it just doesn’t grab me. Nevertheless, I was quite disturbed to see that, according to United Nations estimates, around 75% of plant biodiversity has vanished entirely in the last century. It may be good in the short term [...]
I’m sure that for sociology students, this book is a very valuable text. It’s very methodical and thorough – it looks at its subject from every angle, and almost every paragraph contains at least one reference to a book in the large bibliography at the end. For me, though, the book was a bit of [...]
Think with your senses as well as your brain. Andrew Motion The Guardian, Feb 2010
- The 20 best Caribbean book blogs 1 October 2012
- Liebster Award reloaded 1 November 2012
- The cafe killer 29 October 2012
- The Kindle Report: does it beat paper? 4 December 2012
- The next big thing… 4 January 2013
- We could take a train, be miles away by morning… 6 May 2013
- Ten years ago: Voluntary poverty in New York City 30 April 2013
- Some interviews 22 April 2013
- Giveaway: Granta Best of Young British Novelists 2003 18 April 2013
- How to Improve your Foreign Language Immediately 15 April 2013
- Geo Marquez: week*...
- Geo Marquez: I read for 9 hours a day of pure science fiction a...
- Evan: What I'm starting to think here is that the refer...
- Brian Joseph: Sounds like a super trip. Have a great time Andrew...
- Charlie: All the best to you both. Crete most definitely b...